Paraguay Establishes an Inter-ministerial Structure for Development of the Professional Qualification System

A resolution signed by both the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security (MTESS) defines the roles of the inter-ministerial team in charge of the trainning offering

EUROsociAL, a cooperation programme of the European Union, is supporting Paraguay in the process of establishing and implementing its National Professional Qualifications System (NPQS), a process that entails a set of resources, procedures, deliverables, and regulatory standards that must be coherently related and integrated so that the system can achieve its fundamental objectives: to improve the professional quality of the Paraguayan active population, and, as a result, improve its opportunities for vocational and professional promotion, as well as to improve its productivity and competitiveness, which should lead to greater socio-economic development in the country.

In this context, the first objectives outlined in this process are the following: on the one hand, to establish a single Catalogue of Professional Qualifications worthy of recognition by all the institutions concerned with this issue, particularly the labour market and its social stakeholders (business owners and workers), to act as the principal reference for relationships between the supply and demand of jobs in the labour market and the design of the training offerings to serve as an instrument that facilitates acquisition or possession of these qualifications; on the other hand, to establish the corresponding Catalogue of Training Modules based on—or associated with—these professional qualifications.

The development of both objectives requires, in the first place, a core or critical mass of specialists trained to carry out both processes (creation of the professional qualifications or profiles and preparation of their associated training); in the second place, definition or establishment of methodologies for carrying out both of these processes; in the third place, establishment of an inter-agency agreement that involves and commits the two main administrations responsible for defining and offering vocational education and training and professional technical education (labour and educational administrations, respectively) in the coordination of these processes; and lastly, the existence of regulatory or legal protection that lends consistency and stability both to the teams and to the tasks and activities that will be needed in implementation of the process of establishing a Paraguayan National Professional Qualifications System.

EUROsociAL has been supporting this process not only by helping to establish a methodology for preparation of the catalogues but also by holding workshops with the selected specialists in order to facilitate their training and acquisition of sufficient know-how to undertake the abovementioned processes.

The resolution signed by the MEC and MTESS represents the final act necessary for these measures, as they provide legal support and an outlook of stability both to the tasks which have started and, especially, to the teams responsible for guaranteeing their implementation.

Obviously these first regulatory instruments must be completed in the future, and, as the process advances, with other regulations that also provide legal coverage to the deliverables being developed (the professional qualifications or profiles, and the training programmes associated with them). These will provide legal support to other components of the NPQS still pending establishment and development (such as the Skills Validation System), in a nutshell, so that when the time comes, they can provide a more complex regulation that establishes a sufficient legal framework for the entire system.